Dec 27, 2022 - World

UN Security Council denounces Taliban restrictions on women

Women in Kabul, Afghanistan, protest on Dec. 22 the new Taliban ban on female access to higher education. Photo: Stringer/Getty Images

The United Nations Security Council condemned the Taliban on Tuesday for banning women from Afghanistan's universities and non-governmental organizations.

Driving the news: The Security Council members in a statement called on the Taliban to "reopen schools and swiftly reverse these policies and practices, which represent an increasing erosion of the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms."

  • The Security Council also said it's "profoundly concerned" about the order for all NGOs operating in the country to stop employing women, saying it'll have "a significant and immediate impact for humanitarian operations in the country, including those of the United Nations, and the delivery of aid and health work."

State of play: Major international aid groups suspended their operations in Afghanistan following the Taliban's ban last week on all foreign and domestic NGOs from employing women.

  • The ban came days after the Taliban barred women from attending Afghanistan's public and private universities.

The big picture: Billions of dollars in aid from NGOs is on the line as Afghanistan faces one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, especially after the country's economy collapsed after the Taliban took over last year.

  • The UN humanitarian office warned earlier this month that a record 28.3 million people — more than two-thirds of the country's population — will need humanitarian and other assistance next year, Axios' Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath reports.

What they're saying: "The latest restrictions by the Taliban on employment & education of women & girls are unjustifiable human rights violations & must be revoked," United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said in a tweet.

  • "Actions to exclude & silence women & girls continue to cause immense suffering & major setbacks to the potential of the Afghan people."
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